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Gloucestershire Business News

Businessman sentenced for groping customer

A 63-year-old shopkeeper took advantage of a drunken woman customer and twice groped her left breast while she was in his store, a court was told.

Gurgit Dhillon (pictured) pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual assault on a woman at Premier Exchange in Mendip Road, Cheltenham on December 9, last year.

The charges said he 'intentionally touched a woman aged 16 or over and the touching was sexual and she did not consent.'

Prosecutor Sue Gethin told Cheltenham Magistrates Court that the woman walked into the store at around 7.30am having been out drinking the night before.

"She was still under the influence of alcohol and CCTV in the store showed the defendant approach her, exchange pleasantries and then reach out with his right hand and grope her left breast," she said.

"She was unsure of what to do at first and laughed it off but when she approached the till he reached out again and groped her left breast. She pulled his hand away."

In a victim's impact statement the woman wrote: "I feel shocked at what happened and it has not yet sunk in that I was the victim of a sexual assault.

"My confidence has gone down since that and I feel that I have been violated.

"I thought that this only happened to other people. I am upset and it will be a long time before I trust old men again."

Defending, solicitor Tim Burrows said: "This was in his own shop and I am at a loss to know why he threw away his previous good character as he has never done anything like this before."

District Judge Joti Bopa-Rai said: "You have no previous convictions and it is unfortunate that you are before the court at your age. But this sort of offence is unacceptable."

Dhillon, whose home address is Fountain Road, Birmingham, was given a 12-month community order, fined £100, ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and placed on the Sexual Offences Register for five years.

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